This month I decided to satisfy my craving for pop fiction. For the past few years, I’ve been out of the loop in this genre, so I knew virtually nothing of Joe Hill, except that N0S4A2 received great reviews, so I thought I’d give it a try.
As the book opens, a young girl, Vic McQueen, uses a gifted bicycle to help her find things gone missing. Supernaturally, a bridge appears, and upon crossing, she finds herself in the place where she needs to look.
Simultaneously, Charles Talent Manx, owns a special car – a 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith – that takes him and the children he kidnaps to a magical place, Christmasland, a creation of Manx’s imagination. Once there, the children transform into grotesque and soulless beings, while Manx steals their youth in an attempt to live forever.
The two characters wind up crossing paths, as Vic realizes she is the only one capable of stopping Manx from his treacherous deeds.
The narrative is top-notch, with nail-biting suspense and a gripping story line. As I read, I kept thinking how much I was reminded of Stephen King, another gifted writer in the horror genre. I shouldn’t have been surprised when, at the end of the novel, the author thanks his parents (the Kings!!!) for their support of his literary career. Lucky for this author, he’s a chip off the old block, and lucky for us readers, we have another fine writer to carry on the family business.
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2013